10 tips for showing a property for sales and lettings viewings

January 9, 2015

Whether you are selling or letting a property, the viewing is absolutely pivotal to gaining interest and achieving the maximum price or a speedy let!

Here are 10 simple tips to ensure your property is seen in the best possible light:

1.  Kerb Appeal

First impressions really DO count!  Make sure the outside of your property is clean and well maintained.  Ensure that the house or flat number is well displayed, so that the property is easily identified.  Gardens should be neat and tidy.

Make sure gutters are cleared of dead leaves and that the property’s boundaries (such as fences and walls) are well maintained.

2.  Hall

The hall is the first room your prospective tenant or buyer will see.  Make sure it is clean, tidy, and well lit. Make sure shoes are put away as there is nothing worse than entering a hall and seeing shoes all over the place!  It looks unsightly and suggests a lack of storage.

Make sure your hallway smells fresh. (See below).  Electric plug-ins are a favourite of developers to create a welcoming smell in show homes.

3.  Get rid of nasty niffs!

Smells are one of the first thing someone notices when they enter a new space. An overflowing cat litter tray, stale curry, cigarette smoke, or “fug” will put someone off straight away.  Open windows and allow the property to air prior to a viewing.  Use home scenting items such as air deodoriser or air freshener to create a pleasant smell throughout the property, although clean and fresh is more important than a strong perfume.

4.  De-clutter

Nothing makes a room look smaller than clutter!  It also suggests a lack of storage space.  De-clutter if at all possible.

If the property is tenanted, you can offer the out-going tenants a financial incentive to keep the property clean and tidy and co-operate with viewings.

5.  Light and airy

This famous characteristic is highly desired by human beings!  Check your property to make sure all lights are working.  Replace any bulbs that have failed.

If the viewings are taking place during the day, open all curtains and blinds to ensure that as much light as possible is allowed to flood in.  If the property is a little lacking in light, turn on feature lamps such as bedside tables, to create more.

If viewings are taking place at night, close all blinds and curtains, and turn on all lights, including bedside tables.  This is welcoming to viewers.

6.  Warm and toasty

Make sure that the heating is on in the property for all Winter viewings.  Turn it on approx. 20 minutes before the viewing to allow the property to warm up.  Viewers will find a cold property off-putting and it also gives an “un-lived in” feeling.

If there are any damp or mould issues in the property, these should be rectified before undertaking viewings. They are off-putting, not to mention a danger to health!

7.  Pets

You may love your pet, but viewers might not!   During viewings, make sure pets are either away from the property, or kept in one room or outside.

Pet smells can also be off-putting, so remove any cat litter trays or evidence of pets like food bowls.

8.  Clean! Clean! Clean!

Cleanliness is so important on viewings.  Make sure that the property has had a deep clean, paying particular attention to kitchens and bathrooms.  Loo seats should be down.  Bathrooms can be accessorised with a few welcoming touches such as a quality hand wash and some fluffy towels.  The bathroom should look as if no one has ever used it!  That is the standard set in top hotels and its worth following that approach.

8.  Yuk!!

Unmade beds, dead plants, and laundry drying all over the place are not a good look for any property.  Make sure beds are made and use soft furnishings to create a designer look.

9. Broadband and phone signals

These are now two of the most important considerations for buyers and renters.  Make sure you let the viewers know if your property has strong broadband and phone signals.

10.  Mis-description

Finally … it’s essential to be truthful in your descriptions of the property in the marketing.  Not only can it be illegal in certain circumstances but there is also nothing worse than a viewer thinking it is 5 minutes walk to the station, when, in fact it is 15 mins or you’ve described a bedroom as a double, when in fact a double bed is all that can fit in the room.

You need to highlight all the main features of the property, such as good transport links, proximity to amenities, equal sized bedrooms, good views from the windows, lots of storage, and character such as period features. This is where your estate or letting agent’s skills really deliver – they will know how to focus on the positives and accentuate the attributes that will appeal to potential buyers or tenants.

Extensive research has proved that people make their mind up about a property within 1 minute of walking through the door, but the entire viewing is an opportunity to help someone realise that your property is just right for them!  There is never a second chance to make a good first impression, but if you follow our tips, you’ll show your property in the best possible light and not only achieve the optimum sale or rental price, but increase the likelihood of finding a buyer or tenant!

If you are intending to let out your own home, read our blog – How to let out your own home safely.

Our Operations Director, Nick Harris, also shares some tips in this short video:

Whether you are selling or looking to rent out, Northwood have over 85 offices around the country to serve you.  Find your nearest local office >>> here.

Northwood is one of the most recognised lettings agents in the U.K. and the leading supplier of Guaranteed Rent to give landlords complete peace of mind.

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